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Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip Racing - Q&A

Our race was very much like that today after the penalty, and we spent probably two-thirds of the races running in the teens to twenties, and we knew that looking at the speed that that was not representative.

But one of the most impressive things that has happened all this season, I think in our entire sport, may have gone a little bit unnoticed. Brian did not get a chance to come to Sonoma, did not practice. Did not get one lap in. Didn't get to qualify. Flew in, dropped into the seat Sunday morning at Sonoma, and at the end of the race, we're 110 laps and the person with the most fast laps of the day was Brian Vickers.

That just doesn't happen. That shows incredible talent, shows incredible confidence in yourself and the equipment, and the communication between these two that they could do that over the phone.

So we always have confidence when he gets in the car that we can run up front and that we can compete for the win, and it's because he's a talented race car driver. Our organization is ready to win consistently, and we have won two of the last four, and so I would say if we can keep that 50 percent streak going, we'll be all right (laughing).

Q:
You kind of touched on this, I'm sure at one point, being able to race again was a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Where does winning rank in that, because I'm sure at one point you were not even sure if you might race again, but where does this win rank?

Brian Vickers:
A good bit of both, just racing. I think you said it. Just to be back in a race car for me personally was a big goal and a big accomplishment and a big step. And it was because no one around me would let me give up on myself.

You know, I obviously didn't give up on myself, but when you have so much love and support around you, that makes all the difference in the world. So I've got to thank my family and friends for that through all that.

Obviously being able to win after all that is just almost unimaginable. It's so beyond what I was thinking about in that moment; just getting back into a race car was all I could think about.

But once I decided to get back in, my goal was to win a championship, and along the way hopefully win some races, and that still is my goal. I know it's a high goal, but that's why we're here. You know, I feel like for the first time in my career, and this has nothing to do with anybody else or anyone I've worked with or worked for; sometimes it's just about chemistry, and I feel like the partners and the owners and the management and the crew chief and everything I'm working with right now probably clicks as good as it ever has in my entire career.

Obviously I've grown a lot as a person through all the struggles and I've learned a lot. We all do as we grow older. We all mature. But the chemistry that I've had with Rodney for 20 years, and the chemistry that I have with everyone at MWR and Rod and Ty and Michael, the way they believe in me, sometimes more than I believe in myself, makes all the difference in the world.




Related Pictures

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Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, takes the chequered flag as he crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s / Superman Chevrolet, celebrates after taking the chequered flag during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, and Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bulwark/PAR Electric Chevrolet, talk during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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